Boosting the Immune System during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to spread many people are looking for ways to boost their immune system. By keeping an immune system strong our bodies defense systems can be as strong as possible.

So, what does our immune system do?

The immune system is an intricate network of units that come together to fight off invaders, otherwise known as bacteria, virus and other foreign substances. Therefore, it is best to strengthen your immune system so that it may run efficiently to fight off diseases. This can be accomplished with dietary supplements, eating right, reducing stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It is important to note that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) emphasizes that supplements are not meant to treat or prevent COVID-19, however it may affect the immune system’s ability to fight infections and reduce inflammation.

So, what are some important supplements that may benefit in moderation?

  1. Vitamin D: Is an important immune strengthening nutrient that may potentially reduce the risks of colds and the flu.
  2. Zinc: May help reduce the number of infections and duration of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of onset. It is important to note that high intake of zinc may deplete copper levels. If you are worried about copper levels look for products that contain both copper and zinc.
  3. Vitamin C: There are several studies that suggest vitamin C may help prevent viral, bacterial and other infections shortening the duration of colds and reducing inflammation
  4. Selenium: Is a key nutrient for immune function. It is an antioxidant that strengthens the body’s defenses against bacteria and viruses.
  5. Garlic: may reduce the severity of upper viral respiratory infections and function in preventing viral infections of the common cold.
  6. Probiotics: contain good bacteria that both support gut health and influence the function and regulation of the immune system. They also may decrease the number of respiratory infections especially in children.
  7. Mushrooms: a variety of mushroom species have been shown to help with immune function including Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Maitake and Reishi. At Rancho pharmacy we carry the Host Defense line for mushrooms.
  8. Honey: May help relive minor pain and inflammation of the mucous membranes. It also has antioxidant properties and some microbial effects. Note that honey is not recommended for children under 1 years old due to the risk of botulism

It is important to note that these supplements are suggestions and more research needs to be done. If you want to try theses, be sure to communicate with your health care provider and take them in moderation or as your doctor recommends.

So, what are other strategies that can be done to strengthen your immune system?

  1. Regular exercise. Many experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week
  2. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables
  3. Maintaining a healthy weight
  4. Obtaining adequate quality sleep
  5. Reducing stress: Chronic stress is associated with elevate4d cortisol levels. This can cause immune dysregulation that varies in severity

For more information stop by Rancho Pharmacy to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.



  1. Accessed on February 10, 2021
  2. Accessed on February 3, 2021
  3. Accessed on February 11 2021
  4. How to boost your immune system. Harvard Health Publishing. Published 2020. Accessed February 6, 2021
  5. Office of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Published 2019. Accessed February 6, 2021
  6. Boost the Immune System. University of Maryland Medical System. Accessed February 7, 2021